Ashley Follow

📍Colorado 📱Snap: AshArdor 💻 Writer. Student. Property Management. Vet. 🇺🇸 📚Follow for stories and Me❤️ 📖Book Venu out soon

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Not everyone meets Father Time. I think anyone who does just found themselves somewhere they weren’t supposed to be, like me. Before this, I walked with father time thinking he was something, not someone. Sometimes, it feels like he slows things down, makes seconds completely unbearable and other times he speeds them up, leaves a person wondering where it all went. Life is full these moments. They’re scattered about a path we cannot see but walk every day. This path has turnoffs every once in a while. Somehow, I fell into that turnoff and ended up in a weird sort of world. Sands fall up and down. There is dark purple hue to everything here. “You are not supposed to be here.” The voice billowed though the room, but no one could be seen, “How did you get here?”
“I do know.” I answer, “I don’t even know where this is.”
“This is the in-between. You must go back.”
“I don’t know how!”
“You stumbled in, now stumble out!” So, I tried. I tripped right into a giant piece of fabric, ripping it from its rings in the heavens. “Stop! Look what you’re doing!” It turns out, that billowing voice, wasn’t one person, but several very small people.
“What are you?”
“We are Tics and others are Tocs. We make up time. All the sands of time were made by us, I believe you call us, Father Time.” They looked around, defeat pasted to their faces, as sand was everywhere but where it was before, “Please leave.” Their fingers point to a small door behind the many rows of desks, it reads ‘exit.’
Finally, they arrive at a familiar scene. A town they know and have always called home. At first, they believed the miracle would go to someone inside, someone in need. Maybe the famished family at the end of the road, or the oldest person who no longer could walk. It was only when the miracle in their hand led them to the tree in the center of the village, when they realized the miracle was for all of them. They were all in need. Finally, the magic Grey wanted to share, would be shared. This little village would learn the value of love and comradery. Their days of being alone and uncaring could now pass. The villagers, won’t know how close they were to losing everything; their way of life, their homes, their village. This storm, the one Addison followed Grey out into, is going to be one of the worst that has ever hit the land. One their village will not survive if they cannot work together. Their tree, in the center of the village, is almost bare of needles on every branch. It lacks tinsel, ornaments, lights, and popcorn strings. Not even a star rests at it’s peak, but, there is a branch near the top that seems to be begging for the ornament’s company. It is there they place the miracle. Before their eyes the tree grows dense, needles, lights and ornaments sprout as if they were flowers at the peak of spring. The two boys, could feel, deep inside their chests, a warming and a glow begin. They walk off in their separate ways, to their homes, as midnight will soon strike. Their heads hit their pillows with the thoughts of change washing over.
Merry Christmas 😊 🎄 🎁
The second stop was a small, unkempt home. The lawn was overgrown, trees untrimmed, and inside was a man who lost his desire to venture outward. Inside wasn’t much better, every room was floor to ceiling in papers, books, and other objects many would consider trash. They were his treasure, but they were also his prison. This poor man hadn’t seen the true light of day in years. Sure, it would peak from time to time from behind the sun-stained curtains, but it never once caressed his face like it used to before his partner in crime passed away, taken furiously by the hands of time. The picture replays over in his mind; the crushed truck beneath the unsteady beam that once held a mighty bridge, the ever-silent cries from their mouths, and the sirens growing louder as his world grew dark. He lost his strength that day. Addison and Grey looked furiously for his tree. They almost didn’t find it, but, Addison stumbled about some boxes, as they tumbled, it revealed a tree that hadn’t been touched in years. It had a thick layer of dust upon its branches and needles. A few old ornaments were strewn about, even a few of his love and himself. It hurt their hearts to look at them, see what had been lost, but today, their miracle, was to give strength to free himself from the prison he built. They placed the cage-like golden ornament upon the tree, between his face and that of his late lover, and disappeared into the night.
So, the two are off to place the miracles in the hope they reach them all in time. First stop, is a cozy apartment home; one bedroom, one woman, 3 cats, 1 dog and a flock of wild crows. It wasn’t cramped, but, it felt empty, to her. She was the kind that knew love didn’t just happen. It needed to grow like a seed that was just planted, but she was also a realist, her words, and knew love wasn’t in her cards. Sure, she wasn’t yet 30, but, her whole life was making it. She spent so much time on work, making a living, that she forgot what it actually was like to be alive. You see, when you breathe that life day in and day out, you forget everything else. The people who she used to know, on the back burner. The things she loved to do, back burner. The person she was before, thrown out and redrawn. That last one, she didn’t mind, after all, she was making it when so many weren’t. Though, then she’d spy their pictures, longingly wishing that simple life could be hers because when you have lavish goods, you want to share the experience. She couldn’t. There was no one around. So, on her blue and silver themed tree they hung, a red, simple ornament. It was out of place, stood out more than anyone could imagine. There is no way she will not notice it. But, still they left it, with hopes that she finds the match to her steady hand, maybe one that will bring excitement back into her days, take her back to the world she had long forgotten.
My eyes were captivated by the points at the end of their ears. They would rise and fall as they spoke. “There has been an emergency. As you know, this time of year is full of miracles, but, if we don’t get this last batch out, there will be many without a happy new year. This can’t happen.”
“Where do we come in?”
“There are three locations where each of these ornaments will be placed. You must place them on the Christmas tree, near the top. And, they must all be placed before the clock strikes midnight. Now, finish your cocoa quickly, you must leave soon to make it.”
“How are we going to get to these places?”
“You’ll be taking the spirit express. It’s a train, sort of. It already knows where you need to go, just make sure to be fully inside it when it's moving.” They pass me a handmade leather messenger bag and hand Grey a list. Upon it were the names of the miracle’s recipients, and the miracle itself. “Oh, one more thing, you must believe in their miracle for its work to the fullest potential.”
We walked for what seemed like twenty minutes, through the slow falling snow, a slight nip at our bare cheeks and a rosy bite at our noses. The carved path was ridden with twisted poles decorated with pine vines sprinkled with lights to guide the way. Only a small breaking of the snow beneath our feet could be heard through the surrounding woods. We came to a clearing with nothing there, “What is this? Was that just a path to nowhere?”
Grey chuckled a bit, shook his head ‘no,’ and motioned for me to follow. He threw his hands into the foot of powdered snow and pulled a red and white swirl pole up from the ground. With its rise, the slight whisper of a song began to play. “Come on, hold on to the pole.” It went up into the clouds. As our heads peaked from beneath the fluffed hills, my vision was overwhelmed with lights strung across every rooftop, garland, and ornaments on every tree. The sweet smell of crackling fires seeped from the chimney tops. “Oh my gosh-” It’s all I could say. No others words seem to capture my feeling in that moment.
“I know huh? This is the North Pole.”
“But, we’re nowhere near the north part of the world? How are we here?”
“Magic. I told you. It’s all over this place. Let’s go in there.”
“Where does that go?”
He laughed, “just inside.” We walked into the door whose house seemed too perfect to be real. Any gingerbread person would be jealous of it standing.
“Hello there! It is good to see you again, and who is this friend?” A small person stepped out from behind a set table, “sit, I just made cocoa.”
Grey’s smile grew from cheek to cheek, “this is Addison.”
“It is nice to meet you, please sit. We have something to discuss. I’m actually really glad you’re not alone.”
There was a little boy, they called him ‘the grey one.’ It wasn’t his mood but his tenderness toward the bleak and ashen garb of the world that brought the name to him. Regularly, he was intoxicated on light and overrun with an unexplainable chipperness, but, from time to time, a wretched downcast would overtake him. It was during these times, he’d be gone. No knew where he went, and to be honest, hardly anyone cared. Again, not because of him but because of the place he lived. No one there cared about anyone very much. Well, during one of these times, I saw him walk into this miserable blizzard of a storm. I remember thinking, ‘he shouldn’t be going alone, he could be harmed.’ I waited to see if anyone joined him in the snow, but after minutes of him being consumed by the raging winds, no one did. So, I did. When you can’t see where you’re going it’s hard to know if you’re going in the right direction. ‘Great, now I am going to die, too.’ But, there was the faintest light growing through the sheet of white, every bit in my body raced toward it, until it had developed into a grand village. Cottages lined the streets, their windows lit up by the sweetest of candlelight. The snow there fell lightly, almost in slow motion. It was like a dream. “Addison? What are you doing here?”
“I followed you to make sure you were okay in the storm- where is this place?”
“A little village I learn to miss a lot all year. It feels like this everywhere here. You know, magic. I tried to bring it back with me, but it doesn’t stick where we’re at. Come,” he waves his hand, “I have something to show you.”
She, Marilyn Rose, was a young woman, not old enough to be recognized as an always responsible adult, but not young enough to make careless mistakes anymore. Mistakes weren’t what usually brought her down. She actually had a knack for working under pressure. Now, when dealing with different matters, ones of emotion and feeling, she was a little less adept. 
One day, this man, Damien Cover, walked into her job. He was gorgeous, at least that is what she thought to herself at the time. He smiled at her and kept taking glances back, even took the time to tell her he’d be moving jobs and wouldn’t be coming by anymore. He left his card with his “personal” number on it, which he stressed to her many times before heading out. It looked like the holidays weren’t going to leave her behind that year and after that summer’s mishap, it was needed. She fumbled with the idea. Maybe, maybe not. What if, what if not? Until days later when she decided to make the call.
With a deep breath, she took the card, hands steadily grew wet, dialed the number and took another nervous breath while waiting for the other side to answer. One. Two. He answered. She had made a deal with herself to hang up if it got to three, but it didn’t. They exchanged hellos and she disclosed her reason for calling, to set a date for drinks in town. December 2. Relief washed over her like a wave crashing against the sand. “Great.” She hung up. Immediately she realized, she should have said goodbye first. Needless to say, their date went well and I get to see them both next week, with my entire family, to witness the renewal of their fifty years. I can’t be more happy for Nan and Pa.
Happy 242 Devildogs! 🎂🎉🎁🎊🎈
Semper Fi 🤙🏽
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